All right, where did we leave off? Have you been hanging on a thread? Dreaming about ice cream, roasted meats, and chocolate beignets? Well, look no further! Part two is here to fulfill your wildest food fantasies!
- CHICEST DINNER SPOT- ABSINTHE BRASSERIE & BAR
I can’t say enough glowing things about Absinthe. This restaurant has incredible food and wonderful drinks. We got absinthe, done the traditional way. One drink is all you need! We decided to split several things, so that we could try more of the menu offerings! To start, they give you whole grain sourdough and salted butter. Honestly, I could just eat a loaf of that. We continued our meal with the baked Vermont Raclette cheese served roasted potatoes, seasoned bread, and cornichon pickles. It was melty, tangy, and toasty. Next, we had the French Onion gratinee. It was perfectly salted and savory with the perfect amount of golden cheese and a beautiful, sourdough crouton. Every sip was glorious. I also got three oysters from the raw bar. They were lovely. Slightly sweet and salty. Finally, we shared the beef shoulder filet. It was expertly cooked and served with light, fluffy whipped potatoes, sauteed spinach, and toasted garlic chips. The flavors were completely balanced and complemented each other wonderfully. It was one of the most fantastic meals I think we have ever shared as a couple.
- ABSOLUTE BEST ICE CREAM EVER- SMITTEN ICE CREAM
Ok. I have had a lot of ice cream. So has Ian. We love it. We can both honestly say Smitten Ice Cream in Hays Valley has THE BEST ice cream ever. It is individually frozen using liquid nitrogen. Then, they top it with homemade sauces and toppings. Ian got the cookie dough with pretzels and chocolate chips topped with brown sugar caramel and tcho chips. The liquid nitrogen makes that ice cream perfectly smooth and creamy. No freezer burn, no large crystals. However, I ordered the best of the best. I got the peaches and bourbon ice cream with brown sugar caramel and spiced granola topping. Oh my gosh ya’ll it was like peach pie. Amazing. So amazing, I ate it in the freezing cold. I would again.
- BEST FRIED CHICKEN (OUTSIDE OF THE SOUTH)- WAYFARE TAVERN
To be perfectly honest, this was a place we somewhat stumbled upon by chance. We saw the words “Tyler Florence” and “best fried chicken,” and we were sold. Wayfare Tavern is an upscale pub located in the Financial District. The food and atmosphere are stellar. They start your meal with a warm, fresh popover served with salted butter. That thing melted in your mouth. Ian got the burger. It was excellently cooked and then topped with brie cheese, smoked bacon, red onion marmalade, and a soft brioche bun. Everything on that burger just worked. I got the famous fried chicken. The coating was crunchy and gorgeously spiced with rosemary and thyme. The meat was juicy and tender. I got it to accompany the city salad. The salad was beautifully fresh with red quinoa, wheatberry, tart apples, blueberries, pickled red onions, and a tangy mustard vinaigrette. The warm chicken paired beautifully with the crisp, cool salad.
- MOST NOSTALGIC ‘ZA- PRONTO PIZZA
Full disclaimer, Pronto Pizza is no high-end pizza place. It is more like a last stop of the night, easy pizza place. For us, it was the last stop in our bellies in our hotel room type of easy pizza to eat. That being said, it is good. The cornmeal on the crust gives it the perfect texture. The cheese to topping ratio is on point. The ranch elevates the pizza. It is yummy and satisfying. It made Ian very, very happy. I was happy to get to share it with him!
Per usual, we did spend most of our vacation eating and drinking. However, we did take some time to do some great sightseeing (and of course, I attended a conference during the daytime hours). We visited the Fisherman’s Wharf, Chrissy Fields, The Golden Gate Bridge, and Coit Tower. We saw some beautiful spots and did lots of walking. We also checked out some awesome bars. We highly recommend The Local Edition. An underground cocktail bar inspired by newspapers in the 50’s and 60’s. The cocktails are phenomenal and the decor is jaw-dropping. It’s definitely one of my favorite bars I’ve ever seen.
To summarize, we had a fantastic time in San Francisco. Ian was an expert tour guide, and gave me a top-notch food experience. If ya’ll find yourself heading to San Francisco, shoot us a message and we will tell you some other great places to check out!